Cass County commissioners pass resolution regarding state revenue sharing payments

CASSOPOLIS — The Cass County Board of Commissioners is asking the state to pay the county money it is owed.

Thursday evening, commissioners passed a resolution requesting the state of Michigan fulfill its statutory obligation with regard to state revenue sharing payments, believing that Cass County is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments.

According to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Michigan’s unrestricted state revenue sharing programs provide local municipalities funding rather than allowing for more local-option taxes. These programs supplement locally raised revenues to help to fund local government services that residents rely on.

In 2004, an agreement was made between the state and counties that eliminated county revenue sharing payments for a period of time during which counties were allowed to pay themselves an equivalent amount to their statutory revenue sharing payments. Each year, the Michigan Department of Treasury authorized each county an inflationary increase over the base amount established in 2004. This agreement saved the State of Michigan from allocating general fund dollars by funding the County Revenue Sharing Reserve Fund through a property tax collection shift. However, once a county exhausted its reserve fund, it could reenter the state revenue sharing system. The state was required to allocate the county their full revenue sharing amount by statute when they reentered the system.

However, according to Thursday’s resolution, counties that reentered the state revenue sharing system before 2014 endured cuts to their base revenue sharing payments that were never restored, while counties that reentered the system after 2014 did not take the same cuts to their base revenue sharing payments.

The Michigan Association of Counties has identified 61 counties that endured cuts to their base revenue sharing payments, which together accounts for a cumulative shortfall in revenue sharing payments to the counties of $117,617,804. According to the resolution passed Thursday, Cass County is owed $717,466 of that total as it reentered the state revenue sharing system in 2011.

“The state of Michigan may question the necessity of making these payments to the counties now in light of the counties slated to receive COVID-19 funding from the American Rescue Plan,” said Commissioner Roseann Marchetti, who read the resolution. “However, those funds are tied to a number of restrictions on how the money can be used. County revenue sharing payments is unrestricted and can be used as necessary.”

The resolution passed unanimously.

Following Thursday’s vote, copies of the resolution will be sent to Reps Steve Carra and Brad Paquette, Sen. Kim LaSata, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Association of Counties, and each county in the state.

Also Thursday:

  • Commissioners approved two agreements with local municipalities and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office for police coverage. The first agreement for Marcellus Township will last until Dec. 31. The second, for Howard Township, will run through March 31, 2022.
  • June Blackwell was appointed to the Jury Commission for a six-year term ending March 30, 2027.

Cassopolis

Cassopolis residents host Juneteenth event at Clisbee Park

Berrien County

I&M provides update on power outages

Dowagiac

Dowagiac natives return from out of state to host Juneteenth event

News

Mt. Calvary Baptist Church partners to host inaugural Juneteenth festival

Berrien County

Indiana man sentenced to 180 days for stealing catalytic converters

Berrien County

Homeless man gets jail time for assaulting police officer

Berrien County

Some southwest Michigan residents still without power, cleaning up damage following Sunday storm

Berrien County

SMC, LMC among nine community colleges to receive state grants for students enrolled in Futures for Frontliners, Michigan Reconnect programs

Berrien County

Southwest Michigan sees severe storms overnight

News

Niles Police Logs: June 10-15

Cass County

Aircraft crash sends Indiana man to hospital

Dowagiac

Dowagiac man ejected from vehicle in Howard Township

Berrien County

Michigan stepping up speed enforcement during regional traffic safety campaign

Cassopolis

Edwardsburg man sentenced to Adult Treatment Court following home invasion

Dowagiac

Benton Harbor man gets jail for role in Dowagiac fight

Cass County

Man involved in Dowagiac murder sentenced to 26-50 years in prison

Cassopolis

Community members speak out against ‘culture of bullying’ at Cassopolis Public Schools

Cass County

Cass County commissioners approve sidewalk leveling, cleaning contract

Dowagiac

Community rebuilds Little Free Library dedicated to late sister following vandalism incidents

News

Niles bicycle shop to host Pride Ride

Buchanan

Berrien Springs woman dies when vehicle collides with semi in Buchanan

Berrien County

Berrien County Board of Commissioners to resume in-person meetings July 1

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,002 cases, 19,598 deaths

Cass County

Dowagiac man, daughter injured in Newberg Township crash